Seminar #3 – Regional Team

GETTING AHEAD OF THE WAVE: Seminar #3 in 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series had a dual focus— the Comox Valley Regional Water Strategy; and enabling tools provided by Bill 27, the Green Communities legislation

“The spotlight is on the concept that has emerged for a Planning and Engineering Collaboration Protocol to guide an integrated Technical Advisory Committee. A key message is that water sustainability will be achieved by implementing green infrastructure policies and practices,” stated Kim Stephens. “We will be emphasizing that Living Water Smart targets for stream health protection and water use efficiency establish expectations for aligning provincial and regional goals with local actions.”

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GETTING AHEAD OF THE WAVE: 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series—selection of YouTube video clips capture the flavour of the day for Seminar #3 on “Commit to the Regional Team Approach”

Tim Pringle set the tone for the seminar with his keynote presentation that addressed this question: What is our land ethic, and how can we view the context differently? He revisited the research on ‘what drives settlement’ on Vancouver Island; elaborated on what communities are up against; and explained why ‘connect to the landscape’ is a unifying mantra for the regional team approach. “The one market concept suggests that communities can choose from among development proposals, and can therefore control their destinies,” stated Tim Pringle.

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GETTING AHEAD OF THE WAVE: Seminar #3 in 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series showcased what collaboration looks like when local governments lead by example in “Demonstrating Commitment to the Regional Team Approach in the Comox Valley”

A regional team approach is founded on partnerships and collaboration; and seeks to align actions at three scales – provincial, regional and local. The key word is alignment. “The Comox Valley is the designated provincial pilot for implementation of a ‘regional team approach’ because a convergence of interests has created an opportunity for all the players to set their sights on the common good, challenge the old barriers of jurisdictional interests, and make sustainability real,” stated Glen Brown.

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GETTING AHEAD OF THE WAVE: Seminar #3 in 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series focused on the “Shared Responsibility Matrix” as an organizing framework; and explained how Green Communities legislation creates statutory authority for water sustainability action

“We cannot pass the buck and say it is someone else’s responsibility. We are all working at this together…and we all have a role to play. Bill 27 has provided local government with the ability to make the vision for Water OUT = Water IN tangible,” stated Susan Rutherford. “Shared responsibility can work at different levels. Senior government, regional government, municipalities, the development community and their consultants….all of us have an impact on the land, on the water, and on the way things look. We all have a part to play in sustainable development.”

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GETTING AHEAD OF THE WAVE: Seminar #3 in Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series featured the Comox Valley Regional Water Strategy—context provided in a set of stories posted on

“In 2006, continued urbanization within the valley coupled with competing land uses and recreational interests within the watershed highlighted the need for co-operative actions aimed at managing watershed uses to ensure water quality is preserved,” stated Michael Zbarsky, “The Watershed Assessment identified actions to mitigate high level risks or threats to the current and future quality of the water. The CVRD is currently proceeding with engineering studies that build on the technical foundation provided by that body of work.”

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